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LIVE REVIEWS

Respect to Aretha at Barbican Hall

Read "Respect to Aretha at Barbican Hall" reviewed by Chris May

Nona Hendryx, Bettye LaVette, José James, Alice Russell, Zara McFarlane, Antibalas Barbican Hall Respect to Aretha London September 12, 2019 Great artists deserve posthumous tributes worthy of their talent--and sometimes they get them. So far, Aretha Franklin, who passed in 2018, is doing well. The long-delayed release of the 1972 documentary Amazing Grace (Studiocanal, 2019), a film of Franklin recording her Grammy Award-winning album of the same name, while not ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Barry Guy's Blue Shroud Band at Aghavannagh Barracks

Read "Barry Guy's Blue Shroud Band at Aghavannagh Barracks" reviewed by John Sharpe

Barry Guy Blue Shroud Band Aghavannagh Barracks Wicklow, Ireland August 14-15, 2019 Have you ever wondered what goes into a performance? For some it might just be a quick run through of familiar standards, while for free improvisers any prep at all might be anathema. But for a large ensemble rehearsal is pretty much essential. Even more so when it comprises 14 musicians from nine countries who don't get together on a regular basis, as ...

RADIO

Welcome to the Deep End

Read "Welcome to the Deep End" reviewed by Patrick Burnette

The boys contemplate the profundity of the abyss--or, at least, of some fairly serious third-streamy jazz releases, on this very “whoa, man" episode. A three-disc extravaganza from a feted musician on Blue Note, a challenging big-group project on the always challenging Intakt label, and a ballet score by jazz's favorite theoretician from the sixties make up the bulk of this one. Pop matters lightens things up a bit with discussions of Brian Eno and Donovan (Donovan?) and Pat's pocket review ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Taylor Ho Bynum 9-tette: The Ambiguity Manifesto

Read "The Ambiguity Manifesto" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Taylor Ho Bynum's The Ambiguity Manifesto, with its oxymoronic title, is the third album in what the cornetist-composer calls an “accidental trilogy." Following his Firehouse 12 Records releases Navigation (Possible Abstracts XII & XIII) (2013) and Enter the Plus Tet (2016), Bynum recognized a form--however unconventional--both in the composition and performing of these large ensemble works. With a 9-tette made up of members of his sextet and Plus Tet, Bynum adds Stomu Takeishi on electric bass. Bynum cites ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Philipp Gropper's Philm: Consequences

Read "Consequences" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

According to the press release for this CD, saxophonist and bandleader Philipp Gropper's concerns in this music are the place of the individual in society and the responsibilities Western societies bear in their dealings with the rest of the world. It's not easy to discern all that from listening to the disc but what you can easily hear is a grinding amalgam of free jazz, electronics and hip hop that touches on the worlds of Sun Ra, Peter Brotzmann, Flying ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Nate Wooley/Dave Rempis/Pascal Niggenkemper/Chris Corsano: Strandwal

Read "Strandwal" reviewed by John Sharpe

Strandwal constitutes the second release by From Wolves To Whales, the all star unit comprising reedman Dave Rempis, trumpeter Nate Wooley, bassist Pascal Niggenkemper and drummer Chris Corsano. It presents two full sets from a 2017 concert in Haarlem in the Netherlands on a double CD, packed with constant dialogue. This is pretty much state of the art free jazz, but they make it sound so easy. There's none of the tentativeness or falling back on easy responses which might ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Peter Erskine: Up Front, In Time, and On Call, Part 2

Read "Peter Erskine: Up Front, In Time, and On Call, Part 2" reviewed by Jim Worsley

Part 1 | Part 2 This past February Peter Erskine greeted me at his studio with a warm smile and welcoming handshake. Nearly two hours later we had discussed many aspects of his long and storied career. We talked at length about his experiences with Jaco Pastorius, Wayne Shorter, and Joe Zawinul in Weather Report, and his subsequent book, No Beethoven, that chronicles and fuses it in time. Even the amusing aside as to how that title came ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Denman Maroney: Solo @70

Read "Solo @70" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Denman Maroney, best-known for his use of the dual-keyboard hyper piano, celebrates his seventieth birthday with a massive collection of solo pieces played on the traditional piano. However, there is little traditional about Solo@70. Maroney's sizable catalog of over forty releases includes several solo projects; the previous such album, Domicil Solo (Live) (Self Produced, 2017) consisting of one, forty-four-minute improvised piece. On Solo@70 he flips the solo format with thirty-eight pieces across a three-disc digital set. Included are compositions that ...

FILM REVIEWS

The Harder They Come Collector's Edition

Read "The Harder They Come Collector's Edition" reviewed by Doug Collette

Jimmy Cliff The Harder They Come Collector's Edition Shout! Factory 2019 With the inclusion of six hours of bonus content in addition to its initial release in high-definition, The Harder They Come in its Collector's Edition may be even more enlightening on a cultural level now than it was when originally released in 1972. Yet the plethora of interviews, technical documentaries, film trailers, etc. can't wholly remove the exotic mystery inherent in director Perry Henzell's ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Setoladimaiale Unit & Evan Parker: Live At Angelica 2018

Read "Live At Angelica 2018" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Let's consider the similarities of this large group improvisation to the High Renaissance frescoes. Any visit to a chapel or duomo in Italy reveals elaborate mural paintings on the walls and ceilings. These paintings were made on fresh (affresco) wet plaster eventually dyed into ornate religious scenes. Artists like Michelangelo and Raphael were required to create these masterworks in a rapid manner. The same can be said of the free improvising artists that make up the seven-person Setoladimaiale Unit assembled ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Jackson Browne: Running On Empty: 2019 Remaster

Read "Running On Empty: 2019 Remaster" reviewed by Doug Collette

There is no other album quite like Running On Empty in Jackson Browne's discography. But then, there may be no other album comparable in contemporary rock: it is an absolutely unflinching portrait of an artist looking for a connection to the muse and only fleetingly establishing one. In a sense, this 1977 album resides at the opposite end of the creative spectrum from the masterwork Late For The Sky (Asylum,1974) wherein this archetypal singer/songwriter captured an early peak of excellence ...

RADIO

These Leos Are Jazz Lions

Read "These Leos Are Jazz Lions" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

Some heavyweight birthdays in this mid-August broadcast, which included new releases from saxophonist Ben Flocks, songwriter Mark Winkler and guitarist Paul Silbergleit with celebratory shout outs to songwriter Bernice Petkere, Benny Carter and organist Trudy Pitts in the first hour, Roberta Piket, Jeri Southern, Howard Johnson and Regina Carter in the second hour, Abbey Lincoln in the third hour and Dorothy Ashby for the final hour. Playlist Zoot Sims with Bob Brookmeyer “Lullaby of the Leaves" from Morning ...


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